‘Discipline’ is the Latin word for ‘success’
Spot quiz: What word will not be spoken by any of Madison’s candidates for school board? Time’s up! Groucho Marx’s secret word is “discipline.” Discipline is defined as “training to act in accordance with rules; activity, exercise or a regimen that develops or improves a skill.”
Discipline is the sine qua non (more Latin) of education. Mathematics, language, music, athletics — they’re all disciplines. All have rules that require mastery. All require effort — showing up, paying attention, listening to the one who teaches, doing the work.
Here’s the math: Discipline = Education = Success — never more so in our knowledge-based economy. If Madison’s growing cadre of car thieves has one thing in common, it is they are functionally illiterate. Doing crime is the surest way to fail, but Madison’s Woke progressives would rather play identity politics and guilt-trip history than demand performance.
Which is why the Werkes reminds parents that you do have a choice — if not at the ballot box, you can vote with your feet. The Wisconsin School Choice program (as opposed to the Milwaukee and Racine versions) is open for business until April 21 for enrollment next school year. We count 12 eligible non-public schools here in Dane and Columbia counties. Your child may qualify based on family income. Apply here.
If your family does not qualify, consider a more successful public school. Open Enrollment continues until 4:00 pm April 29.
Treated like the bishop
St. Ambrose Academy qualifies for neither of the two programs but it does offer generous scholarships and all the fixin’s missing in Madison’s public schools. Like something called “core values“ — another concept unspoken in the Metropolitan Madison School District. For starters, boys and girls wear school uniforms at St. Ambrose. That allows students to concentrate on studies rather than on fashion, the school advises. “It promotes a stronger sense of community and school spirit, discourages potential peer pressure, and keeps school-year clothing more affordable for parents.”
St. Ambrose Academy is the only Catholic junior high and high school in the Diocese of Madison with an accredited classical curriculum concentrating “in the critical academic disciplines of math, science, history, literature, logic, rhetoric, composition, and Latin – all crowned by regular study of and growth in the Catholic Faith.” The school enrolls 130 students in grades 6 through 12. Tuition is pretty steep: $9,300 for grades 9-12 and $8,500 for grades 6-8 but half the students get financial assistance averaging $5,000.
Patrick O’Loughlin of Madison taught economics. “It was a privilege to teach there. At the end of each class, the students always thank the teacher as they exit the classroom. The first day, I thought they had mistaken me for somebody else. Maybe a bishop or something. Never had a problem of any kind, in terms of discipline or anything else, for five years. Total respect and cooperation. I enjoyed it so much, I would have done it for free.”
Now in its 18th year, St. Ambrose is trying to raise $17 million to build a permanent, 5-acre campus just west of McGaw Park in Fitchburg. If you’d like to help, contact Joe Draves at email@example.com.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: If the ballot box won’t fix Madison schools, the marketplace will.